MLK, Titanic, cats: Top seven AP and Movietone videos

Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his "I have a dream" speech in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963.

Story highlights

  • Associated Press and Movietone have uploaded 550,000 historical videos on YouTube dating back to 1895
  • The collection includes the only surviving footage of the RMS Titanic and the Tiananmen Square "tank man" protester

(CNN)From the Titanic ship disaster to the report on Martin Luther King Jr's assassination, thank goodness there was film at a time when smart phones and HD quality cameras were unimaginable.

If you haven't seen it yet, Associated Press and Movietone have uploaded a total of 550,000 momentous videos on YouTube dating back to 1895, fast forwarding the past to the digital age. Broadcasting everything from 1960s fashion to man-made disasters, memorable World Cup football moments to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, there's hardly a historic stone left unturned.
Here's a pick of the top seven documented moments:

    1. RMS Titanic

    This is the only surviving footage of the ill fated RMS Titanic, filmed shortly before it hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic around midnight on April 14-15, 1912. Out of about 2,220 passengers, approximately 1,500 people were killed and nearly 700 survived.
    The grainy newsreel, without a soundtrack, shows the apparently ordinary -- if enormous -- vessel docked at Belfast Lough before it headed to Southampton on April 2, 1912. From there, it set sail to New York, but never reached its destination.

    2. Pearl Harbor

    Filmed from a boat moving past the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, this footage -- again shot without sound -- shows scenes of wrecked aircraft, plumes of black smoke and sunken ships on fire in the aftermath of the attack, which sparked the U.S.'s entry into World War II.

    3. That royal wedding

    Opening with patriotic scenes of a British flag blowing in the wind to a trumpeting soundtrack, Prince Charles' marriage to the late Princess Diana was arguably the royal wedding to end all British royal weddings. Movietone boasts that they were the only company to film the ceremony on 35mm film -- the predominant movie projector technology back in 1981.

    4. The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

    "The king is dead", reads the bold, white type at the intro of this video. "A leader of his people, a teacher of all people, has fallen," says the stern, British voice over. Dubbed by Movietone as the "American Gandhi," the international cinema newsreel pays homage to the former American civil rights leader.

    5. Nelson Mandela released from prison

    Crowds of people cheer and shout as they await a glimpse of former South African President Nelson Mandela, freed after spending 27 years in prison.
    In the next scene, Mandela is shown walking calmly and holding hands with his then-wife, Winnie. A close-up shows the revered statesman gesturing to the crowd with the ANC (African National Congress) salute, and smiling before entering his vehicle. The closing scene shows him delivering a speech to an enraptured crowd in Cape Town.

    6. Tiananmen Square demonstration

    It's one of the most defining moments of conflict in history and here it is on your screen. Fleeting scenes of protests, gunfire, people running and injured bodies precede the moment a lone, defiant demonstrator stood in front of a rolling tank in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China on June 3, 1989.

    7. You've got to end with a cat...

    His name is Frank and Louie, he hailed from Worcester, Massachusetts and at the age of 12, he entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-living cat with two faces, also known as a Janus cat. "He''s actually more of a dog than a cat," says his owner. The feline passed away in 2014, at the grand old age of 15.